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Case study: machine translation + post-editing of Agence Europe’s daily news

17 February 2023

Casestudy Agence Europe | ElaN Languages

Agence Europe, a Brussels-based news agency focused on European economic and political integration since 1953, was struggling under the challenge of publishing its daily news in two languages on the same day. News is news when it is new, meaning that translation delays were out of the question. The result? This kept Agence Europe’s team of translators and their coordinator under constant time pressure.

Journalists were delivering news articles in French all day long via the online editorial platform developed by the client. Until recently, the coordinator distributed the news articles that needed to be translated into English to the translators. The texts were translated directly on the editorial platform, which has to make do without translation memories, a terminology database, or even a spellcheck function. This obviously did not improve the quality of the translation work.

Post-editing as a solution

Agence Europe was looking for a solution to relieve the pressure on its team at no extra cost and ultimately result in better translations. That is why the news agency partnered with ElaN Languages. The challenge: translate a considerable volume of European news articles within a few hours, five days per week, while maintaining a high level of quality. In that context, ElaN thought it was worth testing whether machine translation with very thorough revision (known as post-editing) of the texts was an option.

Seperate opleiding

A few machine translations were evaluated to determine the quality of the results. After extensive checking, the system with the highest fluency was chosen. To ensure top quality translations, there was a strict selection of post-editors, who were trained specifically for the project. They were instructed to use as many of the machine translations as possible, but still rewrite anything that needed it. A style guide was created for the project together with Agence Europe. A terminology database was also set up to ensure correct use of terminology. 

Saving time thanks to automation

To reduce coordination time and to ensure quick and easy file exchange, ElaN Languages looked at how the whole process could be automated. They opted for a cloud-based tool allowing full automation of the following steps:

  • importing the articles from the client’s editorial tool to create a translation project using the template that includes the translation memory, term base and a predefined pool of dedicated post-editors;
  • pre-translation with the translation memory and machine translation;
  • exporting the final post-edited articles to the client’s editorial tool.

The cloud-based tool in which the post-editors work has a spellcheck function and allows for thorough checking of formatting tags, punctuation, numbers, terminology, and consistent language use. The project manager monitors everything in real time and runs a last check to verify the completeness and compliance with both the style guide and the client’s instructions.

This workflow allows team members to work in a comfortable environment and relieves them of the mundane tasks. The translation machine and automated process will take care of those things. This gives the team more time and space to focus on creative pursuits, such as finding the right equivalent in the target language for a metaphor used in the source text, or keeping the communication flow within the team and with the client smooth and sound.

Quote or advice

Would you like to know if post-editing is a possibility for your translation jobs? Then please don’t hesitate to contact Johan Noël: 011 49 04 68 - customerservice@elanlanguages.com or request a quote at no obligation.

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